Even before listening to Taylor Swift’s latest release, “Reputation,” it’s clear that the singer has fired a warning shot into the minds of fans, rivals and critics — the old Taylor is dead, and the new one isn’t going away soon.
Swift’s sixth studio album is a biting glimpse at the loss and desire the singer has faced throughout her career, transforming herself from sickeningly sweet country-pop crossover to full-blown pop diva.
Clocking in at 15 tracks long, the album shows Swift in all her raging, vengeful glory.
Opening the album, “…Ready For It?” sets the listener up for the new sound Swift has to offer.
Her icy vocals chew on every lyric like a wolf ravaging its prey.
“I see nothing better/I keep him forever/Like a vendetta,” Swift roars, keeping her eyes on the past in the rearview while driving forward to her new existence.
In the excellently crafted “End Game,” Swift proclaims that she wants to be the only thing her lover wants and
will accept nothing less.
With knockout features by Future and Ed Sheeran (in a wonderfully weird combination), the song stands out among the pack.
While the album features ample amounts of vengeful fun, it explores quieter themes of Swift’s insecurities on tracks like “Delicate.”
“My reputation’s never been worse so/You must like me for me,” Swift warbles, seemingly anxious about the media’s effect on her current relationship.
It’s these gentle and sedated tracks where Swift’s lyrics shine, cementing her as a great pop lyricist.
A hazy R&B vibe permeates the album, with themes of reputation and self-judgment guiding the songs to its finale, the introspective and quiet “New Year’s Day.”
Rather than getting caught up in the petty drama of today’s media-based society, Swift spends the majority
of her time on the album looking inward, discovering what happens when she finally stops caring about
others’ perceptions of her.
The songs are darker and more complex, with Swift’s lyrics making for a stunning and memorable listening journey.
Though the album is an obvious clap back to the overwhelming spectators, be them fans or critics, her new album has caught world-wide attention for more than just its catchy sound.
Media outlets such as CNN, BBC and The Atlantic all have columns delving into the meaning behind Swift’s lyrics.
Ironically, the same spectators Swift is so obviously fighting against are analyzing her lyrics in detail — mostly
trying to figure out exactly which relationship or celebrity feud her lyrics are referring to.
With Swift’s reputation for love (or breakup) songs, it comes as no surprise that a high priority for fans is to determine which songs correspond with which of her three recent boyfriends.
Reviews on CNN and The Guardian even speculate about the boyfriend fiasco, which only garners more attention for the album.
Between Swift’s new style and her catchy, yet profound, lyrics, it’s no surprise that the artist is causing quite a stir, and only further building her reputation.
“Reputation” is available for purchase on Google Play and iTunes.